Listed building consent

Listed buildings have additional protection in law. You can make changes, but you may need to apply for listed building consent, and you will need to be careful when carrying out work that could affect the character of the building.

You are likely to need listed building consent for:

  • alterations (inside or out) or extensions which, in our opinion, are likely to affect the appearance or character of a listed building;
  • alterations or extensions to buildings, objects or structures (including gates and walls) in the grounds of a listed building;
  • demolition of a building, object or structure which is listed or is in the grounds of a listed building. This can include the removal of only part of such buildings (even a chimney stack, door, window or wall);
  • any new structure which will be physically linked to a listed building.

Examples of work which usually require listed building consent include:

  • the painting of stonework or brickwork
  • the addition of render or cladding
  • the replacement of existing doors or windows
  • changes to the roof covering and other external features
  • the alteration or removal of beams, fireplaces, staircases, porches, shutters or other old features (inside or out)
  • the erection of signs, security equipment or satellite antennae.

This list is not exhaustive.

It is a criminal offence to carry out work which requires listed building consent without consent having first been obtained (even if you did not know that the building was listed). Carrying out unauthorised work is punishable by a fine or prison sentence, and it can also result in a listed building enforcement notice requiring the reinstatement of those features which have been altered or removed.

Apply for listed building consent

You will need to submit a listed building application form. You can do this online via the national planning portal. The listed building consent process is very similar to the planning process and for most cases it will take at least 8 weeks to process an application. No fee is required unless full planning consent is required for part of the works, in which case a fee will be payable for the planning consent.

All applications for listed building consent must be accompanied by a Heritage Impact Assessment. For more information please refer to our local validation requirements.

Advice to owners or developers and their professional agents is an important part of the listed building application process and our Conservation Officers are available to discuss your proposal before you submit your application. Advice can be given on appropriate alterations and extensions to historic buildings. Except for the most simple applications it is advisable to employ an agent who is familiar with the policies and procedures of the council.

If you are in any doubt, you should check with a Conservation Officer if planning permission or listed building consent is needed before starting any work to a listed building (contact details below).


Regular maintenance and "like for like" repairs do not need listed building consent, but this would be required if the repairs include removal of historic material or changes to its character; for example, internal alterations that include removal of historic doors, fireplaces or plasterwork or replacement of external doors or windows would require consent. However, repainting or redecoration, installing new bathroom or kitchen fittings would not normally need consent.

Painting and internal decorating does not need listed building consent but any external painting may require consent as it may affect the character of the listed building. The replacement of modern kitchen and bathroom fittings does not require consent.

Refurbishment involving the removal of internal features, such as doors, fireplaces, plasterwork, panelling or other historic fittings constitutes alterations and listed building consent is required before work is carried out.

Advice on maintenance and repairs is available from our planning team and is recommended as the effect is not always straightforward. You can contact us if you are unsure whether you need permission, or for more advice on what type of work would require listed building consent.

Can I do emergency work to a listed building?

  • Emergency work can be carried out to a listed building without prior consent providing you can subsequently prove all of the following:
  • That the works were urgently necessary in the interest of safety or health or for the preservation of the building;
  • It was not practical to secure public safety or health or preserve the building by works of repair or temporary support or shelter;
  • That the work was limited to the minimum measures immediately necessary;
  • That notice in writing justifying in detail the work was given to us as soon as reasonably practicable.


We are currently unable to offer grant aid for repairs to historic buildings.

Grants from other sources such as English Heritage are sometimes available, though normally only for the highest grades of listed building. Our Conservation Officers can advise you on these.

Other permissions

As with normal properties, you will still need planning permission for, amongst other things, a change of use of land or a building, or a significant alteration to the outside of a building. A separate consent may also be required under the building regulations, particularly for structural alterations.


It is usually beneficial to get advice from a conservation officer at an early stage in your considerations.

Contact details

Tel: 0300 330 7000
Email using the link below